The Gig Economy and IT: Opportunities and Challenges in 2024

The Gig Economy and IT: Opportunities and Challenges in 2024

In 2024, the gig economy has become an integral part of the global workforce, particularly in the IT sector. This labor market, characterized by short-term contracts and freelance work, offers unique opportunities and challenges that are reshaping the world of work. 

The State of the Gig Economy in IT:

As of 2024, almost half of the global workforce, approximately 1.57 billion people, are freelancing. This shift encompasses a range of roles, from traditional gig work like ride-sharing and food delivery to highly skilled professions such as legal consulting, accounting, and IT development. In India, for instance, the IT sector is increasingly shifting towards gig work, with an 8% increase in gig hiring and a total of 18% hiring intent for gig workers this year. 

Emerging Trends in the Gig Economy:

The gig economy is evolving to address its inherent challenges. One significant trend is the increased focus on connectivity and communication tools to bridge the gaps created by remote working and time zone differences. Talent management solutions are also becoming crucial for organizing and managing freelance talent efficiently. Gig workers are now more likely to invest in upskilling, adding complementary talents to their core skills. This trend is particularly evident in areas like AI, where having multiple skill sets can significantly broaden a freelancer’s client pool. Additionally, virtual tourism and the concept of digital nomadism are gaining traction, with freelancers opting to work remotely in various locations. 

Challenges for Gig Workers:

Despite these advancements, gig workers still face significant challenges. Lack of job security and the absence of traditional employee benefits like health insurance and retirement contributions remain major issues. Gig workers often have to manage more complex tax situations and lack legal protection, making them vulnerable to payment delays or exploitation. These challenges highlight the need for a more structured approach to gig work, both from a regulatory standpoint and in terms of support structures for freelancers. 

The Flexibility and Accessibility of Gig Work:

The main allure of gig work is the flexibility it offers. Workers can control their schedules and choose their clients and projects. This fluidity is particularly appealing to those seeking work-life balance, such as parents or individuals with disabilities. The shift in priorities post-pandemic, with more people valuing balance and flexibility over traditional job security, has also contributed to the growth of the gig economy. 

The gig economy in 2024 presents a mix of opportunities and challenges. For IT professionals, it offers a chance to work on diverse projects, develop new skills, and enjoy greater flexibility. However, it also demands adaptability, self-management, and a proactive approach to career development. As the gig economy continues to grow, it’s essential for both freelancers and companies to navigate these changing dynamics thoughtfully, ensuring fair practices and sustainable working conditions. 

Embracing the Power of Thinking Differently in the IT World 

Embracing the Power of Thinking Differently in the IT World 

The capacity to “think differently” is more than just a slogan in the dynamic and always changing field of information technology; it’s a crucial competency that may differentiate workers and spur innovation. Your ability to tackle problems from a novel angle as an IT expert can result in ground-breaking solutions and paradigm-shifting discoveries. 

So, in the context of your role, what does it really mean to “think differently”? Let’s dive in: 

  1. Challenge the Status Quo: Thinking unconventionally entails challenging the status quo and questioning accepted standards. Ask “Is there a better way to do this?” rather than following the norm. Finding inefficiencies and looking for alternatives that can enhance processes are frequent sources of innovation. 
  2. Accept Diverse Points of View: The IT industry is a melting pot of knowledge, experiences, and backgrounds. The key to thinking differently is to value the variety of viewpoints your colleagues have to offer. Participate in open dialogue, pay attention to opposing points of view, and consider viewpoints that could be different from your own. This open-minded strategy may produce deeper insights and more durable problem-solving. 
  3. Develop a Growth Mentality: To think differently, one must develop a growth mentality. Recognize that there is still plenty to learn and that you are only at the beginning of your education. Take on challenges as chances to broaden your skill set, and don’t be afraid to venture into uncharted territory. 
  4. Connect the Dots: When you join notions that at first glance seem unrelated, ground-breaking insights frequently appear. Imagine yourself as a person who solves puzzles by putting various pieces together to produce a thorough solution. Innovative developments can result from drawing inspiration from a variety of sources, both inside and outside the IT industry. 
  5. Experiment and Iterate: Being open to experiment and iteration is a necessary component of innovative thinking. Though not every concept will succeed right away, every attempt offers insightful information. Accept failure as a learning experience and don’t be afraid to adjust your strategy in light of suggestions and results. 
  6. Understanding End Users: As an IT expert, your main objective is to provide solutions that satisfy the needs of consumers.  Imagining yourself in their situation will help you identify their problems and create answers that will appeal to them. Innovation that is motivated by empathy can produce goods and services that actually improve user experiences. 
  7. Seek Constant Improvement: The dedication to continual improvement is a crucial component of thinking differently. Evaluate your efforts, procedures, and results frequently. Find ways to improve, streamline, and elevate what you do. You help your team and organization grow and succeed by continually going above the limits of your talents. 

In conclusion, having a fresh perspective will help you go beyond expected bounds in the IT industry. You may realize your full potential as a creative and influential IT professional by questioning conventions, welcoming different viewpoints, and encouraging a growth-oriented approach. Keep in mind that those who are willing to go outside the box frequently leave a lasting impression on the ever changing world of technology. 

HR Tech 2022 and Beyond: Is Automation the Key to Inclusive Hiring?

HR Tech 2022 and Beyond: Is Automation the Key to Inclusive Hiring?

Is your HR tech stack working for you?   

All too many staffing firms in the post-pandemic job market embrace automation in talent acquisition. Human Resources (HR) and recruitment automation trends also tend to plow through the general move of hiring managers and staffing firms to practice more inclusivity and diversity in the workplace.   

This is what the intermarriage between HR and AI aims to solve. Finally, finding out how to reduce bias in the hiring process would be the goal that the latest HR tech and automation intend to achieve.   

But can it pave the way toward inclusive hiring?   

Let’s run down the pros and cons of hiring automation and get a better glimpse of how the future of HR looks insofar as inclusivity and diversity are concerned.

Performance Management Trends 2022: Advantages of Automated Hiring

1. More Efficient Sourcing and Selection of Candidates  

Recruitment automation enables you and your team to efficiently modify your job posts and ads from templates more seamlessly. This allows you to focus more swiftly on the actual vacancies, corresponding qualifications, and relevant experience.   

Your HR software landscape should feature automated tools to screen applicants, expediting the selection process.   

2. Maximizes Your Internal Hiring Pool  

Automating your hiring process also allows you to maximize your internal hiring pool. This will enable you to be more proactive in your hiring process because you can create a pipeline of past candidates who are qualified, already screened, and can take on the job in just a short time.   

This diminished your reliance on job boards and ads – and waiting on job candidates to reply to your ad.   

3. Fast-Tracking the Application Process  

It is undeniable that hiring managers and job candidates alike find the application process tedious and even unwieldy. The process can be long as the waiting times tend to go on and on. By automating your recruitment, you get a more thorough view of each candidate and where they are in the application process.   

Your recruitment software may also automatically place qualified candidates for an interview via a pre-built scheduling module. Once they pass the job interview, the software should be able to send the candidate a job offer.  

This is indeed time-saving!   

4. More Seamless Onboarding  

You can also create a better first-day impression on your new hire by seamlessly onboarding them. Onboarding an employee usually involves: 

      • Giving them company access credentials,  
      • Sending the new hires pertinent introductory emails,  
      • The general induction and training process. All of these can be automated.   

 

5. Promotes Diversity and Inclusion in the Hiring Process  

HR tech such as Applicant Tracking Solutions (ATS) can remove information that can cause bias, consciously or unconsciously. These include data on age, ethnicity, and gender. This means that your tech stack can focus solely on employment history and skills – giving every job candidate a fair shot at landing the role. 

Read more: As Automation Rises, so Does the Need for Human Talent

AI for Recruiting: Dangers and Possible Perils  

Artificial intelligence in recruitment aims to reduce bias by enlisting machine-based decisions. However, using AI for recruiting may harm your organization’s DEI (Diversity Equality Inclusivity) efforts. Here’s how: 

1. Historical Data Does Not Support DEI Initiatives.   

When you use artificial intelligence for hiring, you will use its historical data to build your hiring system. This historical data – predominantly within the male and white demographic – already possess an inherent bias.   

In the absence of historical data sets to train AI algorithms, hiring tools utilizing AI become very likely to carry the same biases your organization has wanted to eradicate for decades.   

2. AI Hiring Algorithms May End Up Perpetuating Biases, Instead of Removing Them.   

HR tech tools that analyze people’s facial expressions, tone, expressions, and other aspects of their personality are rooted in “how normal or desirable they are culturally.” This is a loaded statement!   

By measuring how “culturally desirable” a job candidate is, you can end up excluding candidates with disabilities or any job seeker whose profile does not fit with what the algorithm has determined as a typical candidate. This puts many job candidates, such as disabled job seekers, in an awkward position.  

3. AI in Recruiting May Conflict with Data Privacy Issues.   

There are also valid concerns about the amount of data that can collect on a particular job seeker while analyzing their video interviews, CVs, online assessments, and social media profiles. For one, candidates may not even know that they are being examined and may need help understanding how AI tools are studying them. 

Still, a lack of regulation on automated hiring processes continues – both from the private sector and the government. 

Read more: 2023 Compliance Checklist: Biometrics, Paid Time Off and Other Regulatory Updates  

4. Automated HR Hiring Systems May Exclude Those Who Are Not Yet Tech Savvy.   

While this may be too far from left field for tech people and white-collar workers, automating your hiring process can be very uncomfortable, if not entirely unrelatable, for those who have not yet migrated to digital technology. However, addressing socioeconomic considerations when using AI for recruitment is a must.   

Aside from this, some professionals have become accustomed to just one tech provider and feel lost if they switch during the application process. For instance, an Apple user may feel lost during the interview if they use Microsoft technologies instead and vice versa.  

Similarly, some HR tech tools work optimally on one provider only. Losing a competent command of the technology one has to use in the application process can spell disaster for any job seeker.   

Read more: Employers Who See Potential Over Experience Win

5. AI in Recruiting Cannot Provide a Holistic Assessment of a Candidate.  

Can HR software tools like facial recognition assess the emotional state of the job candidate during an interview? Can it accurately measure a job candidate’s disposition, confidence, and general well-being when the labor market comprises diverse individuals from different social backgrounds?   

Undeniably, this can make your HR tech stack prone to false positives or false negatives, so to speak.   

Success Through Technology: Being Strategic is Key! 

Hiring managers and staffing firms must be more strategic in utilizing AI for recruiting if they are serious about diversity and inclusive hiring.   

One, consider focusing on skills-based hiring. Use HR tech tools to assess competence in a particular skill set.   

Moreover, hiring managers and staffing firms are encouraged to keep a salient human component in the hiring process. The strategy of depending solely on AI to determine suitable candidates is not yet a foolproof strategy for the time being.   

Finally, there is wisdom in partnering with a staffing firm that has a tried and tested process that supports diversity and inclusive hiring for your company.   

Collaborate with the Fox Search Group to make diversity and inclusive hiring a cornerstone of your company. With a reputable HR tech stack that is seamless and efficient, you also have a pool of expert recruiters from the Fox Search Group to complement their world-class hiring tech stack. Lock in top talent for your company while also forwarding your DEI initiatives.   

Reach out to us today!   

2022 a Booming Year: No Shortage of Opportunities in the Tech Industry

2022 a Booming Year: No Shortage of Opportunities in the Tech Industry

The tech industry is emerging to become the real champion of this protracted COVID-19 public health crisis. Indeed, the tech industry is the pandemic’s real silver lining. 

If recent tech mergers are any indication, the world’s leading tech giants are quickly snapping up one company after another in some of the most lucrative mergers and acquisitions in modern history. 

Data from the first half of 2021 shows that last year was a banner year for mergers and acquisitions. The numbers from financial intelligence company Refinitiv reveal that by June 30th, these mergers and acquisitions had already closed deals at a whopping $2.8 trillion. 

Tech Companies’ Continuous Expansion 

The breakneck speed with which these tech mergers have taken place and the sheer volume of money involved in acquiring various tech companies have left even experts and analysts completely astonished. 

One of the landmark acquisitions was that of Microsoft, buying speech-to-text software firm Nuance for an astounding $19.7 billion. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Singaporean ride-hailing and delivery app Grab Holdings went public in the US through a SPAC or special-purpose acquisition company valued at $40 billion. 

Big tech firms such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Meta seem to be in a race to acquire more companies, hoping to expand their services and influence. Surely, you have heard Apple execs say that the future is in the cloud, while Meta’s Zuckerberg has directed all his company’s efforts towards realizing the Metaverse. 

The Tech Industry in The Perfect Storm

The technology sector’s growth during the pandemic, while other industries suffered a slump, was due to the fact that the tech companies offered products and services that helped keep business operating while the pandemic raged.

Your organization would probably not survive if not for Zoom or Teams. When malls shut down, consumers still found a way to get goods through Amazon. Whether you like it or not, tech has all the answers.

The tech industry kept the global economy functional and gave societies a semblance of normalcy while lockdowns and quarantines were happening left and right. Moreover, these tech industries offered resilience amid a public health emergency. Indeed, the sector birthed terms that are now all too familiar to everyone, such as work-from-home, cloud computing, and digital migration.

The so-called “new normal” is a reality that will be ushered in, almost singlehandedly, by the tech industry. Believe it, or you better believe it—tech is here not only to stay but to lead and define boundaries for what is possible and what is to come.

Are Tech Jobs In-Demand? What Tech Jobs Are the Most In-Demand?

You guessed it. Tech jobs are hot now and will remain so in the foreseeable future. Hence, if you are a data scientist, software developer, web developer, software engineer, data engineer, computer network engineer, eCommerce technology manager, IT Manager, and the like, you are definitely in demand. There are plenty of lucrative job market sectors that are looking to hire someone like you.

According to data from the World Economic Forum, nine trends will usher in the “new normal,” and all these trends have one thing in common – they are all powered by the tech sector and the men and women working behind the tech industry.

1. Online Commerce and Contactless Delivery

Consumers are now embracing the plethora of goods that may be purchased through online shopping. Supply chain and logistics experts need to work together to ensure a seamless experience for the consumer, from online shopping to delivery. 

Additionally, you must keep abreast with the latest trends in online commerce, such as contactless delivery, wherein human-to-human contact is kept at a minimum to avoid any health hazards. This is also why robotics and data science jobs are in-demand these days. 

 

2. Digital Payments 

When was the last time you used cash to pay for something? Indeed, the tech-led new normal will be all about digital payments through cards, digital wallets, and even cryptocurrency. Aside from credit cards, digital payments now have mobile wallets, crypto wallets, and even micro-wallets. Soon, cash will truly become obsolete. This field will pave the way for more jobs in digital payment analyst and payment gateway solutions. 

 

3. Work from Home/Remote Work

The most recent edition of McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey revealed that 87 percent of Americans across all ages, demographics, geographies, and sectors prefer a flexible working arrangement. 

The study also revealed that digital innovators – those who work at the forefront of technological innovation – prefer to work remotely. That is about 77 percent of individuals working in mathematical and computer occupations. Tied with remote work is the need for data management and data security experts tasked with managing and securing data. 

 

4. Distance Learning

The mainstream attention that online learning is getting is here to stay. This calls for highly skilled individuals in virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Furthermore, distance learning abolishes transnational borders as it enables you to learn or register for an online course regardless of geographical location. Hence, educators must learn to embrace this prevailing trend. 

 

5. Telemedicine

If you need to see your doctor, you no longer need to head over to the clinic. Instead, you simply book a “teleconsultation.” How about having your vital signs taken digitally and measured by devices? Or initial diagnoses made by chatbots? 

 The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of physical objects— “things”—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data with other devices and systems via the internet. This directly impacts various sectors, such as healthcare, and the way doctors and other health professionals will handle medical data. 

This means that the still nascent Internet of Things will form a large part of your life very soon. Estimates from Business Insider, as published in Time Magazine, project that $6 trillion will be invested in IoT in the next five years and that there is $24 billion worth of IoT devices that are already installed. 

 

6. Online Entertainment

Creativity and artistic expression have also migrated online and come in the form of gaming, virtual tours, and streaming platforms. The tech industry has completely changed the meaning of entertainment and where to find it.  

For instance, in the last few years, free network television has struggled to compete with streaming entertainment, while companies like Netflix and Amazon have entirely revolutionized the moviegoing experience. Thus, online video editors, influencers, and other creative jobs will continue to rise in the coming years. 

 

7. Tech Industry-Led Supply Chain

The world has just emerged from the pandemic curbs severely disrupting the supply chain. Yet, despite the setback, data science breakthroughs in Big Data, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and Blockchain are now coming up with more resilient supply chain management systems by improving data accuracy and encouraging data sharing. 

During the low-tech era, the supply chain industry mostly referred to factory inventory and transportation logistics. However, with the birth of Big Data and cloud computing, forecasting supply and demand in the next few years may be performed with near-perfect accuracy. 

 

8. Robotics

If you were once working for retail, food, manufacturing, logistics, and the hospitality industry pre-pandemic, you most likely know how severely hit these industries were because they are very labor-intensive. Thanks to robots and drones, these services may already be delivered sans any human interaction. 

Advances in robotics may take over virtually all sectors of your company that can be automated. This is why you now find restaurants being served by robots, factories being manned by bots instead of humans, and driverless cars will soon become ubiquitous in many cities. 

 

9. Information Technology and 5G

The tech industry relies on stable and high-speed internet to make things work. With this, the expansion of 5G promises to make the innovative services of tech companies available to a broader population. Experts predict that 5G will reach its full potential in 2035. By then, 5G will be able to connect everything, including machines, devices, and objects. This will also make the internet more reliable, with higher performance and increased efficiency.  

 

LOOKING FOR TOP TECH TALENT? PARTNER WITH THE FOX SEARCH GROUP. 

Are you looking to be actively involved and connected in further shaping any of these trends and have a rewarding tech career? 

Fox Search Group aims to connect great companies with great tech talent. Fully cognizant that the tech industry is only as good as the talent working behind it, the company has made it a mission to serve and cultivate potential candidates for their dream tech sector or dream company. 

If you are an innovator in robotics, the Internet of Things, data security, cloud computing, and other positions in tech, the Fox Search Group aims to collaborate with you and connect you to the right career opportunity in the industry in this golden age of tech. Contact us now!

As Automation Rises, so Does the Need for Human Talent

As Automation Rises, so Does the Need for Human Talent

From the novelty of simple machines to the efficiency of artificial intelligence, humans have invented ways and tools to ensure that day-to-day processes are smoother. As a result, technology has allowed humans to live more sustainable lives. Yet, it continues to challenge the existing order of business and labor. A Pew Research reported that almost half of industry experts foresee a future where many employees become obsolete

You have heard of automation allegedly being anti-worker or a job thief. Some of the jobs that automation has already replaced include toll booth operators, grocery cashiers, and warehouse staff. You could be wondering if your role will be affected. Will technology really rip you off of your source of livelihood? The quick answer is no. As the world increases its technology use, humans will continue to evolve in relevance. 

Here’s how the automation revolution is impacting the job industry.

More Global Vacancies 

The artificial intelligence market is projected to grow to $641.3 billion by 2028. Growth in any job market translates to more human workers to address the infrastructure necessary for such growth. Jobs can include hiring human resource managers, administrative staff, and AI/automation experts to provide the needed human talent. The popularity of artificial intelligence systems also means more customers eager to experience their benefits.   

You can expect that customer care associate and manager positions in utilizing automation and AI technology will also increase. Automation will drastically change how you view work now, breeding other career opportunities. 

Higher and Competitive Salaries 

As automation eases the job processes, overhead costs in physical spaces and materials for information are reduced. Many companies that hire automation engineers or artificial intelligence experts give higher and more competitive salaries to engage top-quality candidates.  

Computer and information systems managers ranked 16th in the highest paid job. Their median salary in 2021 is reported to reach almost USD160K a year. You can expect that knowledge and experience in automation can increase your earning potential. 

Flexible Work Arrangements and Processes 

Companies like Spotify have adopted the work anywhere arrangements for their employees. Through automation, working from home or anywhere can be made more meaningful and productive.  

You can use software that could automate configuring data sheets, and bookkeeping can take less time and effort through various assistance from online automation programs. You can also check your own productivity and retrieve data that could help you manage your own tasks without being prompted by your supervisors or managers. 

Sustainable Work Practices 

Automation is sustainable, too. Using automation and artificial intelligence, you can gather data about open positions and certifications for career advancement. Environmentally speaking, it forbids using tangible resources like paper for papers and filing cabinets for storing them that you have grown accustomed to in an office. With more data being saved on tiny portable storage devices and even cloud servers, physical space is also being used to its fullest. You can go home knowing that retrieval is easier and faster if you lose a document. 

In Alliance with Automation 

Artificial intelligence, automation, and machine learning are some of your allies at work. Without automation, you will rely on physical strength to plow through complex business processes and functions. Automation and AI address issues that you could have overlooked through piles and piles of documents and thousands of information needed. Human labor has evolved through automation and artificial intelligence.   

You can see through the fast deliveries of your necessities its unparalleled contribution to logistics processing. From the ease of maintaining assembly lines in manufacturing industries to creating better products based on consumer studies, you know that you can depend on these systems. There is truth to how automation and artificial intelligence will change the labor landscape. The challenge is to change with it and be open to the endless possibilities brought to us by these systems. Human talent is indispensable, albeit will be more expensive, even with automation. 

What Traits Would Still Elevate Humans in the Workplace 

Flexibility 

Automation operates on a predesigned program. Many, if not almost all, computers run on a code that has been embedded in their systems. Most computers, if not all of them, run on code built into their architecture. Once they are in the hands of the consumers, these codes can be challenging to manipulate. With automation, products and services will have a consistent quality-an advantage for the quality assurance staff. 

However, from a workplace perspective, having flexibility is still most preferred. For managing and responding to unplanned events and emergencies at work, coding might only be able to handle so much. Human talent is still the best option when flexibility is needed, such as in cases of unforeseen delivery delays or unpredictable logistical catastrophes.   

Creativity 

Creativity is one aspect of human talent that is difficult to code in its entirety. Different coding languages in and of themselves are the results of the creative minds of various coders. It is not surprising, as creativity is organic to human talent. 

There are various instances of how automation supports our desire for creativity at work. With platforms like Canva, automation has allowed human creativity to thrive further. Processes can be streamlined, and expectations can be matched with each new program, piece of software, or application. 

Empathy 

Empathy, even among humans, can be difficult to achieve. Coding empathy can be much harder. Empathy is a result of millions of years of evolution and socializing. Such a process can be nearly impossible to code fully into a program. However, you may envision how the necessary customer service and communication abilities are put to use as you buy goods and services or have transactions with other employees. Humans are the best judges and users of empathy. 

No Substitute for Human Talent 

Human talent will remain indispensable for as long as there are humans. There can be no replacement for the warmth of a smile during a cold morning as you get your coffee from the nearest coffee shop. You can never code the inspiration that a person who achieved success through hard work can teach you in the office. Automation and artificial intelligence are tools that complement work. 

Automation allows for moments of pause that make the workload feel less. These moments increase your productivity and efficiency as an employee. Prioritizing work-life balance also involves utilizing available tools in your workplace to your advantage. It was always meant to aid humanity in reaching its fullest potential, not replace it. 

BE PART OF A COMPANY THAT VALUES HUMAN TALENT WITH FOX SEARCH GROUP. 

With Fox Search Group, you will be with a company that values your knowledge and skills as their employee. We use current and reliable data-driven processes to provide you with the best application experience.  

We specialize in hiring top-quality candidates for IT managers and executive positions. As a woman-owned, diversity-driven, national IT search consulting firm, we can help you find companies for a healthy and enduring employee-employer relationship. Contact us today.